Phrasal verbs, also called two-word verbs, are idiomatic expressions wherein the second element of the verb (the adverb or particle) is not necessarily predictable. For instance, why the word up in call up a friend? Why not say call on a friend or call in a friend? Actually, those are three separate, unpredictable combinations, and they each mean something completely different. For example, you can call up a friend on the telephone, call on a friend to visit a friend’s home, and call in a friend to come help you with something.
This dictionary is a compilation of 1,800 phrasal verbs consisting of either a transitive or intransitive verb and its particle or adverb. In many cases, additional prepositional phrases are shown as part of the entry, but the dictionary focuses on phrasal or two-word verbs. This second edition of the basic phrasal verb collection is based on McGraw-Hill’s Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. The format of the dictionary is designed to provide the information needed by learners who are attempting to read and write conventional American English.